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Old 11-01-2014, 02:16 PM   #1
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Anyone ever added a slideout to an Airstream?

Searched, and not found anyone who has done it.
Not talking about the later factory installed units in the wide-body.
The difficulties are obvious, with the curved roof, but someone must have done it!
I had some ideas, and wondered if it could be done...
Links, or knowledge would be great!
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Old 11-01-2014, 03:57 PM   #2
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I have never walked away from a challenge. In fact my avatar was an AMC Pacer which I spent many years revamping.

I have thought of doing what you are talking about (sort off). We like the idea of a Hybrid. A Airstream with a hinged, 1/2 height drop down side panel bed which would have a canvas top so we would have the sound and feel of the great out doors yet have the amenities of the Airstream. For us it would be the perfect trailer.

Anyway I think it is possible, as almost anything is but it would be a huge project. Airstreams rely on the shell to help with structure integrity and the frames are minimal. I'm thinking the frame would need to be reinforced ( or redesigned from scratch and that would be just the beginning.

You would need skills in aluminum sheet work etc.

If you go with the idea best of luck.
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Old 11-01-2014, 04:01 PM   #3
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My instinct tells me that this would be a very difficult and expensive project with a low probability that you would be pleased with the result. But if you do attempt this, please keep us informed out of morbid curiosity.
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Old 11-01-2014, 04:55 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keyair View Post
Searched, and not found anyone who has done it.
Not talking about the later factory installed units in the wide-body.
The difficulties are obvious, with the curved roof, but someone must have done it!
I had some ideas, and wondered if it could be done...
Links, or knowledge would be great!
Adding a slide out, also requires a completely different frame.

Andy
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Old 11-01-2014, 05:52 PM   #5
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You might want to talk to Chris Gartenmann, Sales & Marketing, at Timeless Travel Trailers in Wheat Ridge, CO. Tel: 303-432-7007. As far as I know they are the only subcontractor authorized to obtain new A/S shells from Jackson Center to build customized units.
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Old 11-01-2014, 06:16 PM   #6
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Airstream still has all the tooling required to make slideouts. They are doing all kinds of custom work that they do not advertise. If money is no object contact them with your request. Who knows, they might just take on the project.
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Old 11-02-2014, 01:59 PM   #7
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Its been "thought" project for a while...
I see no reason why It cannot be done in several ways...
People have cut long sections out of trailers to make serving windows, and even opening end caps.
Yes, anytime you cut into a structure, you would need to add strength back to compensate. Adding a aluminum extruded frame to support the missing stringers would be easy to do, and I think would even add strength, and beam stiffness.
The biggest issue I see would be the kinematics of the slideout.
In a flat sided trailer or MH, the top slides out the same as the bottom.
With an AS, the top of the slide out is inboard a long way already, thus constraining the outboard movement unless you want to see daylight or an indoor/outdoor shower!
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Old 11-02-2014, 04:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keyair View Post
Its been "thought" project for a while...
I see no reason why It cannot be done in several ways...
People have cut long sections out of trailers to make serving windows, and even opening end caps.
Yes, anytime you cut into a structure, you would need to add strength back to compensate. Adding a aluminum extruded frame to support the missing stringers would be easy to do, and I think would even add strength, and beam stiffness.
The biggest issue I see would be the kinematics of the slideout.
In a flat sided trailer or MH, the top slides out the same as the bottom.
With an AS, the top of the slide out is inboard a long way already, thus constraining the outboard movement unless you want to see daylight or an indoor/outdoor shower!
Wish you good luck.

Andy
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Old 11-03-2014, 10:52 AM   #9
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Wish you good luck.

Andy
Thanks Andy!
At the moment, I am searching for knowledge, and ideas, and wondered if it had been done before and if so, how.
I my case, this is for the Motorhome, and it has the chassis below, but they are well known to be "flexible". I see no reason why the MH and trailer could not be modified in a similar way.

Of course, deliberately cutting into a perfectly good Airstream to do such a drastic mod might make some people feel queezy... but my MH has damage from the door back, that will require replacing the outer skin, repairing damaged ribs., etc. I will have to remove the kitchen and inner skin if I want to do it right anyway, so I began wondering if it was possible.
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Old 11-03-2014, 11:04 AM   #10
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Question... Would you put a slide-out on a Airplane? Answer, No. for the same reason you would not put one on a Airstream. The type of construction on both does not support it. The fact you have a Motor Home type of Airstream with a different type of frame then found in a Trailer you could get away with it if you added interior structural walls on either end of where the slide out would be. Just remember Airstream had slide outs with stronger frames, so it can be done, the question is why are they no longer being produced... Cost or structural problems? I don't know.
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Old 11-03-2014, 11:37 AM   #11
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I don't have a pic of my frame when I went under to look at the slide components, but I remember a wow, look at that frame moment when I saw it.
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Old 11-03-2014, 11:46 AM   #12
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Sacrilege

But didn't Airstream offer a slide out for awhile? Why'd they stop? Lack of interest?
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Old 11-03-2014, 02:13 PM   #13
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Yes they did make them, I own one. Why they stopped, the AS historians can tackle that one.
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Old 11-03-2014, 02:43 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GCinSC2 View Post
Why they stopped, the AS historians can tackle that one.
People have asked me why they stopped making the slide outs, and I've had conversations with lots of folks about why, and to date, I've not found anyone that knows.

As with most discontinued products, if I had to guess I would say it involved money. Either too much money to build, or not enough profit when they sold, or maybe something as sinister as lack of demand. Maybe even worse...liability?

Not that it matters at this point, but if someone does know why, I wish they would share.
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